The 41-year-old started his Twitter account @BrokeLivingJRB a little over two years ago now with a simple premise. His profile read: “Poker Pro. Track my crazy swings as I take bankroll from zero to a million.”
Since then Bellande has accumulated 35,576 followers, become a bona fide rock star on the platform and one of the most instantly recognizable poker players.
“I never thought I’d get to 5,000 followers let alone 35,000,” he said.
“The cool thing about it that these are real followers, it’s not some list that automatically follows. This is all through word of mouth. People find it entertaining I guess.”
In the beginning Bellande received his share of haters, he still does, but slowly the detractors seemed to get on board and started cheering for him.
The former Survivor: China contestant attributes much of his success on the platform to his candid style of Tweeting.
“I just try to be as honest as possible. That means honest with the good stuff and with the bad.”
Tweeting Soul-Crushing Beats a Part of the Game
Despite his honest nature, Tweeting about massive downswings is challenging and Bellande admits there have been times where he shied away from the service for a few days after a big loss.
“It can be very, very brutal,” he said.
“You’re in a situation where you’re trying to stay on your feet and trying to put together a little bit of a roll and all of a sudden you get smashed by a one-outer or a two-outer. The last thing you want to do is go on Twitter and talk about it.”
Recently Bellande has had to change his in-depth reporting on the big games at Aria due to a request from some of the players.
“I play in a very cool game with some real heavy hitters,” Bellande said.
“Talking about my bankroll swings indicates what’s going on with them and they asked me to keep some of it private. I’m just being respectful of that.”
Fortunately for Bellande’s 35,000 followers he still plans on Tweeting a lot during the 2012 WSOP and his self-deprecating sense of humor has been on display over the first five days of series.
With all the talk of Twitter it would be easy to forget that Bellande is actually a pretty damn good poker player at the WSOP. He finished in the top 100 players in the Main Event the last two years running. He hopes to keep that streak alive this year.
Bellande fans may also be interested to know the pro recently launched a website that includes a blog and a store where you can buy JRB T-shirts.
“The ‘BR=0’ shirts seem to be selling really well,” laughed Bellande.